What are the new trends in food and drink packaging? Credit: Getty/Edwin Tan

Long read

Packaging trends and innovations: The Interpack 2023 roundup

By Bethan Grylls

Sustainable packaging solutions ruled this year’s Interpack, with exhibitors showcasing a range of innovations that addressed key challenges such as greenhouse gas, cost and efficiency. Here’s our roundup of launches…

Is plastic a villain or just misunderstood? Credit: Getty/ smartboy10

Long read

Do we need plastic packaging?

By Bethan Grylls

With Global Recycling Day having just passed, Food Manufacture looks at the impact of plastic packaging, the key areas for improvement and the challenge of ditching virgin plastics.

Petre comments on the four pillars of Weetabix's sustainability programme

Weetabix outlines sustainability efforts

By Gwen Ridler

Closed loop recycling, the impact of COVID-19 and the future of sustainability at Weetabix were key topics in our exclusive podcast interview with the manufacturer’s head of supply chain.

Design guidelines are being developed for recyclable flexible packaging

Push to identify sustainable design

By Paul Gander

The drive to establish best practice in flexible packaging design, sorting and recycling is gaining pace at European level, with the growing number of stakeholders within circular economy initiative CEFLEX now moving towards a first draft of its design...

More plastic than fish is predicted to be in the world’s oceans by 2050

Plastic packaging becomes a pariah

By Rick Pendrous

The UK’s food and drink supply chain has been shamed into pledging to reduce its use of plastics in packaging and use more recyclable or biodegradable polymers, following growing public anger and adverse publicity about the damage plastics cause to the...

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to cut all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years

Food leaders hail Prime Minister’s environmental plan

By Mike Stones

Food and farming leaders have welcomed Prime Minister Theresa May’s new 25-year environmental plan, which sets out proposals for sustainable economic growth, including measures to curb the use of plastics.

The precise rate of UK beverage carton recycling remains unclear

UK drinks carton recycling is still low

By Paul Gander

A decade after the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE UK) began setting up a network of ‘bring’ sites across the UK and persuading local authorities to introduce kerbside collection, neither Tetra Pak nor ACE UK is disclosing the national...

Food processors, including Arla’s UK dairies as pictured, use large amounts of water for processing and cleaning

Water management is key as manufacturing costs rise

By Rick Pendrous

Many food and drink manufacturers are missing out on large potential cost savings by not managing their water use and disposal more effectively, according to environmental services group Veolia, which provides a range of waste, water and energy management...

How can UK plastic bottles end up in the Pacific Ocean? asks Lucozade boss

Soft drinks boss argues for more action on waste plastics

By Noli Dinkovski

The boss of a leading soft drinks company has called on both industry and government to do more to tackle plastic packaging waste, after acknowledging its impact on the marine environment was not sustainable.

Printed PET bottles can be recycled

Packaging product file

Printed PET bottles can be recycled

By Rick Pendrous

A process for making recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles onto which designs have been digitally printed has been developed by KHS and its subsidiary NMP Systems.

Darfresh using board as the rigid substrate is expected by the end of this year

Portion packs can reduce food waste

By Paul Gander

How can meat primal cut packaging help to reduce food waste? Simply by keeping products fresher and more appetising for longer might be the obvious answer to this question. 

Nick Brown explains how CCEP has become more sustainable

Coke boss gives packaging sustainability advice

By Gwen Ridler

Coca-Cola European Partners’ (CCEP’s) head of sustainability Nick Brown is urging food and drink manufacturers to reform recycled packaging collection systems, as his business steps up its recycling programme.

Coca-Cola European Partners has unveiled in sustainability strategy

Coca-Cola launches sustainable packaging strategy

By Gwen Ridler

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is to double the amount of recycled plastic in all of its bottles by 2020, as part of a new sustainable packaging strategy revealed Wednesday (July 12).

Coca-Cola European Partners has recycled 50,000t of plastic in five years. Pictured: Nick Brown (left) and Chris Brown (right)

Coca-Cola recycles 10,000t of plastic a year

By Gwen Ridler

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) has reused more than 50,000t of plastic from about 2bn bottles for its portfolio of products sold in Britain in the past five years, claimed the drinks manufacturer.

Virgin polymer prices have fallen, making recycling less competitive

Food and drink industry plastics recycling ‘needs more support’

By Paul Gander

The plastics packaging supply chain should not only commit to using food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) in its containers, as some brand-owners already do, but even be required to take a direct financial stake in collection and recycling...

A deposit return system could be introduced for plastic drinks bottles

Are deposit systems ready for a return?

By Paul Gander

With Coca-Cola GB dropping its opposition to a deposit return system (DRS) and calling for a trial of “a well-designed deposit scheme for drinks containers, starting in Scotland”, where Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS) has been consulting on the idea, some are...

Tesco is cooperating with Linpac and Hilton to maximise the potential recyclability of fresh food packaging

Product file

Tesco boosts pack recyclability

By Rick Pendrous

Tesco has partnered with key supplier Hilton Food Group and packaging manufacturer Linpac to maximise the recyclability potential of its plastic fresh food packaging.

The UK could save £3.7bn by recycling food waste, instead of sending it to landfill

Recycling all food waste could save the UK £3.7bn

By Matt Atherton

The UK could save £3.7bn by using food waste sent to landfill for renewable biofertiliser, claimed a food waste expert, after figures last month confirmed domestic food waste alone topped 7.3Mt.

Innocent Drinks is set to move out of gable top cartons into plastics

Innocent Drinks in recycling innovation

By Paul Gander

A waste management finance scheme based on Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs), which links a producer’s obligated payments with specific recycling investments, is set to support Innocent Drinks in a move out of gable top cartons into plastics, and aims to...

Tesco has unveiled new pots for its food-to-go products

New pots for food-to-go at Tesco

By Rick Pendrous

Food packaging suppliers Faerch Plast and Colpac recently joined forces to develop a new pack design in conjunction with fresh prepared foods manufacturer Bakkavor for a new Tesco food-to-go range.

TV star Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been warned about the hidden costs of recycling

Waste recycling warning for celebrity TV campaigner

By Michelle Perrett

A leading trade association has warned about the environmental burden of recycling, as Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s hit TV show – Hugh’s War on Waste – is set to reignite demands for more package recycling.

Metal packaging has the capability ‘to be infinitely recyclable’, says William Boyd

Metal market ‘well-placed’ on innovation and environment

By Paul Gander

Metal’s ‘endlessly recyclable’ credentials, along with continued structural innovation, will become more important over the next few years according to director and chief executive of the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA) William Boyd.

Circular econony concerns: ‘An old lawnmower can be renovated, but packaging doesn't work like that,’ says Jane Bickerstaffe

EU circular economy plan may threaten packaging

By Paul Gander

The European Commission’s (EC’s) ‘circular economy’ proposals may sound very general and still look a long way off as far as regulation goes, but industry organisations such as Incpen (the Industry Council for research on Packaging and the Environment)...

Price differentials will be a key factor influencing the use of compostable and biodegradable films in mainstream food

Compostable and biodegradable films face up to challenges

By Paul Gander

The future of compostable and biodegradable films in mainstream food is partly dependent on price differentials with oil-derived alternatives, partly on consumer education and end-of-life infrastructure, and partly on the longer-term acceptability of...

Linpac's Elite rPET food tray has been one of its most successful projects

Smoothing the way for recycled trays

By Paul Gander

Despite the recent turbulence in recycling markets, recycled content in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) trays for meat and chilled foods remains as important as ever, reinforced by clearer regulatory status and by materials innovation, according to one...

ABP will move operations to Shropshire to become more sustainable

ABP to close Blackburn plant

By Laurence Gibbons

ABP Food Group will close its Blackburn manufacturing plant and move operations to its newly-opened Ellesmere site in Shropshire, the firm has confirmed.

Aluminium foil recycling rates rise in Europe

Aluminium foil recycling rates rise in Europe

Data released by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) confirms that recycling rates in Europe for aluminium foil (alufoil) trays and semi-rigid containers in 2013 reached 55% – but the UK only achieved just above 40%.

Nick Vermont, McCain’s chief executive in Britain, spoke at a sustainability convention this month

Treat climate change like health and safety: McCain boss

By Alice Foster

Food manufacturers must treat climate change as seriously as health and safety to protect the planet and ensure profitability, according to McCain boss Nick Vermont ahead of climate change talks in Paris.  

Consumers don't understand date labels, according to Approved Foods

‘Fundamental lack of awareness’ over date labels

By Laurence Gibbons

The food and drink industry must do more to educate people over a “fundamental lack of awareness” about the difference between best-before and use-by-dates in a bid to tackle food waste, according to the boss of online grocer selling best-before products...

Resfood plans more efficient processes for veg washing and disinfection

Green revolution for veg processing

By Rick Pendrous

Better use of precious raw material resources during food processing are the main expected outcome of a euro 6M pan-European research project which comes to an end in October.

Falling oil prices have undermined the economics of recycled plastics

Plastic bottle recycling under threat

By Paul Gander

The tribulations suffered by at least two major UK plastic bottle recyclers in recent months highlight the larger-scale crisis gripping the UK's bottle-to-bottle food-grade plastics recycling sector, with rock-bottom prices for oil and virgin polymer...

UK commercial food waste amounts to 7Mt a year, says

Election 2015

Waste firm calls for food waste crack down

By Rod Addy

The new government should make recycling compulsory under law as Britain’s increasingly full landfill sites reach crisis point, according to one waste management business.

The Reflex project aims to raise the amount of recycled flexible packaging

Grappling with flexible film recycling

By Paul Gander

A project aiming to boost the volumes of packaging films recycled in the UK will encourage simpler (but not lower-performing) structures, help drive the development of barrier coatings and adhesives and seek to establish the use of machine-readable marks...

Labour's policy reversal on food waste has been slammed

Labour does a u-turn on landfill ban for food waste

By Rick Pendrous

The Labour Party’s decision to drop plans to make a ban on food waste being sent to landfill part of its 2015 election manifesto has been slammed by companies that convert food waste into reusable energy, fertiliser and animal feed.


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